There are good reasons to be skeptical of the incoming saturation of Google Glass as it pertains to sports and life in general. But watch the above video, for a forthcoming Google Glass app called Blue, and you get a sense of how sports and Glass can coexist in a way that a normal person could actually get behind (even if you will still kind of look like this guy).
Judging from online reaction, it taps directly into the sports fan’s desire to know everything they can about what’s happening around them. There’s more statistical info to look at today than ever before, but that can take away from the game: take your eyes off the field to look at your iPhone or a pitch counter high above the third-base side or (at home) your laptop, and you can end up missing out more than you gain.
Here’s how the developers describe their creation:
Blue uses geolocation to figure out which ballpark you’re sitting in. It knows who’s playing and automatically starts presenting data to you as the game unfolds — stats for every player and pitch, even play-by-play descriptions. Watch a pitch fly by, then Blue will tell you its speed and type. Wondering what call the umpire just made or why that runner got sent back to first base? Blue will let you know.
It’s okay, get up and grab another hot dog. Blue will keep delivering updates to you while you’re waiting in line at the concession stand, too.
What else is there to want?
By their own admission, the app isn’t quite fully baked and they’re looking for beta testers who already have Google Glass to help smooth out the wrinkles, but if you’re a tech-inclined baseball fan with a wee bit of disposable income, I’m not really sure how you improve on this. And once you nail it down for baseball, you tap into other APIs (the “firehoses” of data that tech companies make available to developers) and do it for other sports, like basketball, football, golf, tennis, and hockey. (It’ll be the rebirth of FoxTrax you never knew you wanted.)
Certainly there will still be many ways for Google Glass sports applications to be overhyped or superfluous, but this one doesn’t feel like excitable marketing or sci-fi hokum or even all that personally intrusive. It feels like the stuff we’d look down at our phones for anyway, so at least this saves us that effort. And anything that keeps our eyes on the field feels like a step in a better direction.